Gangaikondan sanctuary in Tirunelveli notified

Tamil Nadu now has an exclusive sanctuary for spotted deer with the State government notifying the formation of Gangaikondan Spotted Deer Sanctuary.

An order from the Environment and Forests Department said this follows an announcement this May by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in the Assembly that the sanctuary in Tirunelveli district would be formed in the current fiscal.

With this, there would be 11 wildlife sanctuaries in the State.

Subsequently, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden sent necessary proposal for declaration of Gangaikondan Spotted Deer Sanctuary under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and it was accepted by the government with effect from October 1.

According to the notification, the Gangaikondan reserve forest is an important habitat for spotted deer. This is the southern most habitat of spotted deer outside the Western Ghats. It is also a habitat for peafowls, mongoose, varied reptiles, avifauna.

There is adequate ecological, faunal, floral, geo-morphological, natural and other zoological significance for the purpose of protection, propagation and management of the wildlife and its environment.

Forest officials said the sanctuary is spread over in 250ha and surrounded by patta lands. Due to this a perimeter wall has to be built around the sanctuary area. The forest type is dry deciduous and scrub jungle, which is strategically located on the National Highway 7 and 10km away from the Tirunelveli town.

The department proposes to introduce eco-development activities by involving the locals. The activities included skill development for youth, asset creation and micro enterprises for livelihood, the authorities added.

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